Abstract # 41:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 17, 2006 03:45 PM-04:00 PM: Session 5 (Regency East #2) Oral Presentation

Factors affecting seasonality of reproduction in captive squirrel monkeys (SAIMIRI SCIUERIUS)

H. S. Trevino
Auburn University, Dept of Biological Sciences, 331 Funchess Hall, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
     Seasonality of reproduction is believed to be influenced by environmental factors such as humidity, temperature, and photoperiod. In primates, there has been much speculation about which environmental factors have the greatest influence on reproductive seasonality. To determine whether environmental factors affect seasonality of reproduction of squirrel monkeys in captivity, I used path analysis to compare number of births and matings per month with monkeys kept in indoor enclosures (maintained at optimal temperatures) and those kept in outdoor enclosures (exposed to the elements). A total of 132 individual squirrel monkeys from 35 zoos from 1974 to 2001 were included in the dataset. Because a different pattern of seasonality was found to occur, I was able to test whether temperature, rainfall, or photoperiod could explain the temporal variation in reproduction. Squirrel monkeys raised in captivity displayed different patterns of seasonality of reproduction, depending on the conditions in which they are housed (X2(3) = 25.12, P < 0.001; G = 28.10, P < 0.001). Temperature had the greatest impact on number of births and matings per month (path coefficients: matings p = 0.799; births p = -1.315). Understanding what factors regulate reproduction for animals and how these factors affect reproduction differently in wild versus captive populations are important to conservation and management of species.